Min­ing min­istry weighs fund­ing op­tions for ex­plo­ration

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

Min­istry of Mines is weigh­ing dif­fer­ent fund­ing op­tions to help govern­ment-owned and -op­er­ated min­ing com­pa­nies to step up their ex­plo­ration ef­forts in a bid to in­crease the sec­tor's con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. Min­istry in­sid­ers say the newly cre­ated Na­tional Min­eral Ex­plo­ration Trust could pro­vide kseed cap­i­taly for in­vest­ing in ex­plo­ration pro­jects, but such fund­ing would not be suf­fi­cient. One op­tion the min­istry is con­sid­er­ing is to ap­proach spe­cialised in­ter­na­tional len­ders such as the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion to act as fa­cil­i­ta­tors for in­ter­na­tional flota­tion of bonds for each spe­cific pro­ject. The other op­tion, which it is likely to select, is to pave the way for firms so that they can seek funds in fi­nan­cial mar­kets through flota­tion of ru­peede­nom­i­nated bonds with longterm ma­tu­rity.

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